Friday, January 27, 2012

My kick-ass goddess

I have never handled drama particularly well.  Being homeschooled, I was largely removed from the drama of high school, and honestly, I'm pretty sure I was born already "over it."  I don't know if that's related to the thing of me being an "old soul," like my grandmother used to tell me, or if it's just not who I am, but drama just never fell on my radar.  There are definite benefits to this, but there are also definite negatives.  The main one, of course, is that there is always drama.  No matter where you are in life, I'm learning, there will be drama.  Up until about two years ago, I strongly disliked drama.  I couldn't stand people talking about one another, petty bullshit made my eyes cross, and I avoided drama-causing people as much as possible. 

Then, drama hit me.  Or rather, maybe, trauma hit and drama dragged along behind, flattening me like a squirrel trying to cross the highway.  Yep, I'm pretty sure my guts were splayed just like that.  If my drama tolerance meter was at about half-way full before, it's empty now.  Believe me.  I shook it, turned it upside down, flipped it, left it sitting on its lid overnight, just to see if anything would fall to the other side, but the damn thing's bone dry.  I officially have no tolerance for drama.
For some people, "no tolerance" means an explosive "DON'T MESS WITH ME I DON'T DO DRAMA," which makes friends and colleagues cower in their presence.  For some people, "no tolerance" means a cold shoulder in the office, somebody who does the work and goes home, doesn't engage or socialize, and isn't well liked.  This is the "you and your drama can just fuck off" type.  I am sure there is also a very healthy and sane way of doing/not doing drama.  However, I have not yet learned or encountered this way.  (Any and all suggestions are definitely welcome).

Unfortunately, I do not fall into any of the three categories above.  While I don't particularly want to fall into the "DON'T MESS WITH ME" or the "fuck off" categories, I am also not a fan of the category I do happen to fall into.  I fall into the silent anxiety "please dear god don't let them direct their hatred towards me" variety.  This is the "drama makes me shut down" subtype and the "my heart feels as though it will explode and my hands are shaking" way of moving through drama .  Extreme?  I know.  I'm working on it.  The trauma of the semi-recent drama is still a little too fresh: that wound just hasn't completely healed over yet.  Damn thing keeps getting infected.  (And yes, I'm working on getting some stronger antibiotics and some band-aids).
 I'm sure there are other types, these are just the three ways of not doing drama I see in my office currently.  There are only 4 of us who don't do drama, the rest are fully entrenched in the drama-creating, drama-making, drama-filled fun.  And, unfortunately, the drama going down is real: it is hurtful, and hateful, and it is wrong.  I've only worked here 4 weeks, and the drama has not been directed towards me, but what I'm seeing/hearing is the real deal.  To even call it "drama" is an understatement, as one action in particular borders on a fire-able offence and has led to official "reprimands" from The Organization.  But I'm not writing to talk about the drama, I just want to underscore, that this is real drama, in addition to office politics drama, and it is hateful. 

When drama hits, my first thought is always "it's my fault."  I know better than this.  If you're walking down the hallway and somebody sticks out their foot to trip you, it's not your fault that you fell.  I'm smart enough after the fact to put it all together, but in the moment, I automatically move to "it's me."  Even when I realize that was, indeed, a foot that I tripped over and that, actually, there wasn't any way I could have seen it and walked around it, I STILL think things like "well you could have at least ANTICIPATED the foot sticking out to trip you," and "you could have at least fallen so you didn't get that banged up elbow and the skinned knee.  I mean seriously, your elbow AND your knee?  Come'on, you can fall better than THAT, right?"  And I think things like, "but you fell LAST TIME somebody stuck their foot out and tripped you out of the blue!  No, you couldn't see their foot either, and no, there was no way you could have walked around it, but really?  You let yourself be tripped again in this completely different circumstance, by a completely different person, in a completely different hallway, with a completely different pair of shoes?  Come on now, Auto.  You can do better than that."  Have I mentioned that I don't do drama?

My relationship with god has been a little funky for the past couple years (talk about drama!  On again, off again, on again, off again...what a fickle thing god can be when you're sorting through understanding life).  In the midst of the messiness, I found that I needed something or someone to hold on to.  In an unrelated phone call with a really beautiful friend, she said, "I think what you might need is a kick-ass goddess."
"A kick-ass goddess?"

"Yep," she said.  "You need a kick-ass goddess."  She then sent me an email with a list of 3 kick-ass goddesses that she said reminded her of me.  Of the three she sent, one of them stuck out.  To be honest, I thought it was a little weird.  I mean, if I was feeling funky about god, what did I think some goddess I had never heard of, no matter how kick-ass she was, was going to do for me?  But the more I told myself it was weird, the more this goddess stuck.  For over a year, this goddess has been the background on my computer.  I have a statue of her in my living room and her picture in my bedroom.  When I ground myself, I use her image to help me.  When I am anxious, I picture her, my kick-ass goddess, as living in me and protecting me.  Other goddesses?  They just don't cut it.  I just don't have an interest.  This goddess, though, was clearly my goddess.
Durga, for those unfamiliar, is a Hindu goddess, and is the warrior aspect of the Divine Mother. According to one story, Durga came into being when all of the gods were threatened.  They put together all of their powers and each created a part of her, such that she could be the force to destroy evil.  She is seen riding a tiger and has many arms (with which she can protect others in all directions).  The story goes that Durga releases her devotees from fear, and she is known for her fearlessness, her compassion, her humor, her patience, and her self-sufficiency and independence.  She carries several items in her many hands: a conch shell, bow and arrow, a thunderbolt, a lotus, a discus, a sword, and a trident.  She fights several kick-ass battles and, of course, wins.  She is supposed to protect us mere mortals by destroying evil forces such as selfishness, jealousy, hatred, anger, ego, and prejudice.

For me, for whatever reason, it all just works better if I have a concrete image of something I can use in times of drama, whether that drama is internal or external.  It has become strangely important for me to have her in both rooms of my house, though I can't distinguish whether it's because I feel safer because she's there or because I feel more kick-ass and thus feel safer as a single woman living alone when I see her.  Perhaps those things are one and the same.

What's my reason for writing this?  I don't know.  Other than the fact that I needed to do something to keep my mind off of other things tonight, I'm really not sure.  Why is this what I wrote?  I have no freaking clue.  Do I really believe in this goddess?  Nope, I don't, and it doesn't resolve my god issue, either.  Do I think Durga will give me guidance with this whole drama-at-work issue?  Nope.  I have a tendency to analyze and beat everything to death think through everything very thoroughly.  In matters relating to myself, I have very little tolerance for ambiguity and like having clear answers.  I do find it interesting that she so completely fits what I so often feel I need in my life, but really, I could name at least two psychological principles stating why I feel this connection.  On this matter, though, I think I am strangely content to let it be.  For some reason, I need the image of this goddess in my life.  For reasons I don't completely understand, she IS my kick-ass goddess, and she makes me feel stronger in a multitude of situations.  Strangely, I think I'm okay with just letting that be what it is.
Do you have a god/goddess/symbol/image that is yours?  Do you know why it is yours?  Have you embraced that it is yours, without question, or do you fight it?  What would it mean for you to let that presence just be in your life?

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